4 comments on “A Note on Bollywood Stars and/as Politicians

  1. Hello Richard.

    I think with some stars, like perhaps Hema and Vyjayantimala, they keep their politics and their film work somewhat separate, so it’s easier to just watch them and be entertained and put their politics out of one’s mind. I know that when I am watching Hema Malini, whom I love, I am not distracted by thoughts of what are her (to me) distasteful politics.

    Other actors, though, make it harder to separate the one from the other. Shabana Azmi, about whom I blog, makes a point not to separate her acting from her politics. (She also makes a point not to affiliate with any political party.) In her view “art is an instrument for social change” and her work as an actor is an extension of her work as an activist (and, for a time, as a Parliamentarian) and vice versa.

    That’s her deliberate choice, though, to mingle the two spheres; I would guess that it has both won her some fans and lost her others. It’s not the only way to be politically active while being an actor though; I do think it’s possible to keep the two spheres more separate than Shabana ji does.

    Take care,

  2. Carla,

    Thank you for the good comments… What you’re saying makes a lot of sense to me. I love Hema Malini too, and so far those politics have not distracted me from watching her either. (Though, on the other hand, when I read about something like that, I can’t help but think about it…)

    I’ve appreciated both your blogs, by the way, though I’ll have to start looking at them more thoroughly. I need to spend some more time with your reviews at Filmi Geek. (And by the way, it’s curious that we wrote about Mother India at almost the same time – though your writeup was far better!) Especially since you also appreciate some social message…

  3. Richard I am glad to have found your blogs too (and thanks for the kind and undeserved comment about my *Mother India* post! :)

    I was perusing my own archives and found this essay I wrote on my Shabana Azmi blog some time ago, addressing the same ideas I mentioned in my comment above:

    Anyway I have added you to my RSS reader and will shortly add you to my list of links on Filmi Geek as well; a belated welcome to the Bolly-blogosphere! It’s always good to have another thoughtful writer out there to discuss movies with.

  4. Thank you, Carla. I was just looking and was surprised that I hadn’t added Filmi Geek to my blogroll yet, so I’ll do that too. (I haven’t gotten into RSS reader in general, but I use the blogroll a lot.)

    I’m kind of rushed at the moment, so I’ll look at that link and other comments later. But I will add Filmi Geek right now.

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